Nikola Krstic/MB Media/Getty Images
Twenty-six days before the NBA restarts inside its Orlando, Florida bubble, The Basketball Tournament kicks off in its own isolated environment in Columbus, Ohio.
The event, which began in 2014, typically takes place during the summer at a handful of venues and features teams made up of college alumni and other sets of players, including four-time champion Overseas Elite.
The most successful team in TBT history is the No. 2 overall seed and sits on the opposite end of the bracket as Carmen’s Crew, the collection of Ohio State alumni that ended Overseas Elite’s title reign in 2019.
Carmen’s Crew and Overseas Elite are the two favorites to win the 10-day tournament that concludes with the July 14 championship inside Nationwide Arena.
The Basketball Tournament Schedule
Twenty-four teams are entered in the 2020 edition of the competition.
The top eight seeds were sent directly into the round of 16, where they will face the octet of victors from the opening round.
Carmen’s Crew, Red Scare, Golden Eagles and Eberlein Drive are the top teams in the upper bracket, while Overseas Elite, The Money Team, Challenge ALS and Boeheim’s Army headline the bottom half.
TBT utilizes the Elam Ending, which we saw in action at the 2020 NBA All-Star Game.
During the first stoppage after the four-minute mark of the final quarter, a target score will set be for the teams to achieve.
The target score will be eight points more than what the team in the lead has at that juncture. The first team to reach the target score wins.
The full list of teams and rosters can be found on the event’s official website.
Although The Basketball Tournament has a much shorter length than the NBA’s resumption schedule in Orlando, it could give Association personnel a glance into how a bubble-style tournament can function.
Andrew Dakich, who is playing for No. 9 seed seed Big X, believes TBT is the starter course before the main meal of the NBA begins, per Ben Goliver of the Washington Post.
“This is this tuneup before the NBA,” he said. “This is the JV before the varsity.”
The additions of Joe Johnson and Pooh Jeter to the Overseas Elite roster make it the front-runner to capture the crown in Columbus. The team is an 8-5 favorite (bet $100 to win $160) to win the tournament, per William Hill.
Johnson has not played in the NBA since 2018, but he has been a dominant force in other leagues. He won BIG3 Most Valuable Player in 2019.
Jeter comes to the squad with a successful resume from overseas, including his most recent forays in the Chinese Basketball Association.
Jarrett Jack, former Iowa State guard DeAndre Kane and Jordan Crawford are among the other notable names on the Overseas Elite roster.
The four-time champion could be on a collision course to the final with Carmen’s Crew, which is coached by Jared Sullinger.
Ohio State alumni Aaron Craft, Jon Diebler and William Buford headline the top-seeded squad that is defending its title and home court.
The best matchup prior to the final could pit Carmen’s Crew against Golden Eagles in a rematch of the 2019 championship.
The team made up of Marquette alumni is the No. 4 seed and features Darius Johnson-Odom, Travis Diener and Elgin Cook.
If the Ohio State and Marquette-based squads pick up where they left off last year, their potential semifinal clash July 12 could be the best game of the competition.
Boeheim’s Army, Challenge ALS and others should be considered in the second tier of contenders, but most of the attention will be on Carmen’s Crew, Golden Eagles and Overseas Elite given their past success in the tournament.
Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.